Western Lowland Gorilla
The Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a subspecies of the Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) that lives in montane, primary, and secondary forests and lowland swamps in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic.
Gorillas are the largest and most vulnerable of humankind’s three closest relatives, the African apes. Gorillas face three grave threats: hunting to supply bushmeat to urban markets; habitat destruction through logging, mining, and slash-and-burn agriculture; and devastating infectious diseases.
Western lowland gorilla habitat is sparsely populated by humans, and, traditionally, indigenous forest communities have shared the forest in harmony with apes. However, the recent expansion of commercial timber exploitation across the region has brought considerable demographic and socio-economic change and threatened human-gorilla coexistence. Access routes created for the timber industry facilitate the transport of bushmeat from remote forest areas to urban markets, and commercial hunting for bushmeat now represents the most significant threat to western lowland gorillas across their range. The Ebola virus is currently a major threat in the northern border area of Gabon and Republic of Congo, where the majority of western lowland gorillas live. In addition to the devastating human fatalities, the disease has the potential to eliminate the largest remaining populations of this ape.